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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 25, 2009 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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what do you have for us? >> well, david, president obama remains in martha's vineyard. aside from the ben bernanke news today, the president has really tried to make this a vacation. he played a little tennis and he golfed both yesterday and today. we'll see if he does wind up meeting ted kennedy who is only a short ride away from hyannis port. the president's cabinet will be busy. janet napolitano is in louisville, kentucky, for a speech before the american legion. and tom vilsack holds another rural forum in modesto, california. we'll see more economic numbers tomorrow when the commerce department releases the july report on new home sales. that's it. >> i'm sorry. could you talk a little more about the possibility that the president -- the word that he might visit senator kennedy? we know john mccain just said on the weekend shows that senator kennedy's voice is greatly missed in this debate. >> it's one of the things, there
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seems to be a little bit of a crisis of leadership in the health care debate. you know, the president himself has been the sole voice. they have missed tom daschle. they've missed ted kennedy. the president is very close with senator kennedy. he was one of the earliest people to come out to support him. a lot of people credit him with being able to gather a lot of support needed for the superdelegates that they needed in the democratic primary. there have been some reports that the secret service have been at the kennedy compound, and we'll see if obama does take that ferry ride and gets across there to cape cod. >> pleasure as always. great member of the political team. also a great star on our softball team. check out first read first thing every morning. tamron, we'll get our technical gremlins sorted out tomorrow. i'm david shuster. >> always a pleasure being with you. i'm tamron hall. that's if for the big picture. up next chris matthews. cheney attacks obama. let's play "hardball."
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good evening. i'm chris matthews in new york. leading off tonight, stuck in the middle. what is president obama to do now that his attorney general has ordered an investigation into prisoner abuse by the cia? if his people don't pursue the investigation,ev investigation wherever it leads, liberals will be furious. dick cheney has released a statement saying the president can't keep the country safe. do you believe that? can't keep the country safe. we'll hear the fight. also danger on the right. weep seen the gun nuts at the obama rallies claiming they're just exercising their constitutional rights. now we're witnessing a sharp uptick to the growth of conspiracy obsessed right wingers who hate the federal government. especially one headed by an african-american. we'll talk to the head of the southern poverty law center about how serious this threat is. and it's safe to say that no one left, right, or center was happy about this picture. the hero's welcome, the
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lockerbie bomber received when he returned to libya. let's get into that one. plus, the stock market is up, the housing market is coming back, and a depression has been avoided. so how come president obama isn't getting any respect? at least not yet. that's in the p"the politics f." and what bugs obama? we'll have the list in the "hardball sideshow." we begin with former vice president dick cheney criticizing president obama over the attorney general's investigation into prisoner abuse. tony blankly is the syndicated columnist who is newt gingrich's press secretary and ron reagan is with air america radio. tony, i want to know what is the angle you're looking at this through. what is the case that we don't investigate what happened with those prisoners? >> you know, it's times like this that i think we conservatives and liberals are like different species because we view this so different. for me and i know for the vice president and conservatives, we are terribly concerned we're
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going to go through the 1970s and the xhurch commission, we will demoralize the people who have been fighting to protect us. i think you folks tend to think we have to enforce our higher standards. we have a strategic view of our national security and focus on that, and others focus on what they think violations of either ethics or law. >> so basically, tony, you don't see anything wrong with cia operatives doing things like making prisoners think they're about to be executed, making prisoners believe they're about to have their mothers raped in front of them? i'm just asking an open-ended question. is that okay with you? >> i think there were a couple things. first of all, lying to suspects when you interrogate is what police do. you should have a big city policeman come in, a detective. i used to be a prosecutor. it's perfectly standard form to lie. you tell them your partner has already confessed. you tell them all kinds of things. that's never been considered a war crime to lie to a criminal
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suspect as you interrogate them. that's different from doing the thing. obviously, if they were actually raping and killing, that would be felonies. >> so the threats are okay with you, just to get it straight. >> yeah, but the big point is that once you start the process of investigating people after the fact who thought they were following procedures, then you undermine the whole process. you know what happened to the cia in the '80s after the '70s. it took a long time to get it back to a force, and i think we're looking -- we've got a big war buildup in afghanistan. we have a tremendously dangerous war. the idea of debilitating the cia is abhorrent. i understand if you think you've seen a -- >> since you used the word you folks, and that's fair enough, i guess i'm at the end of the target of our term, you folks. >> it's not a target. >> i think everything here comes from above. i think the fish rots from the head. i think leadership is key in american life. you used the word strategic.
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i completely agree with you. i don't think operatives do things they don't expect to get rewarded for or expected to do by their bosses. here is dick cheney a couple days after 9/11. actually here he is today. president obama's decision to allow the justice department to investigate and possibly prosecute cia personnel is his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the cia to the white house serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many americans have doubts about this administration's ability to be responsible for our nation's security. ron reagan, your witness. that's what cheney says. >> yeah, well, it's rich that dick cheney should be talking about obama not protecting the united states. after all, it was on his watch that 9/11 happened, despite repeated warnings from the intelligence community that osama bin laden was determined to strike in the u.s. he also accused the obama administration of politicizing the justice department by doing this investigation. that's rich, too, since we're finding out a lot about how the
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bush administration politicized the justice department in terms of state's attorney firings and that sort of thing. you know, we've had a long tradition in this country, chris, over 200 years of not torturing captives. george washington didn't do it. abraham lincoln didn't do it. general eisenhower when he was running world war ii wouldn't have any of it. even ronald reagan when he proudly signed a u.n. declaration requiring countries to prosecute people who engaged in torture whether our own people or others called the practice abhorrent. the sort of thing that tony blankly and others will defend now and you've mystically call enhanced interrogation techni e techniqu techniques. somebody who shares my name knew it was torture and found it abhorrent, his words. >> i want you to look at the vice president a couple days after 9/11. i think he was giving guidance to all these agents and operatives. i don't think they were operating on their own. here we go. here is the vice president a couple days after 9/11. >> we also have to work the sort
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of the dark side. we have to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. a lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly without any discussion using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies if we're going to be successful. that's the world these folks operate in, and so it's going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal basically to achef achieve our objective. >> any means at our disposal. if i was an operative and heard that i would feel fairly liberal in what i was allowed to do to get info from the bad guys. >> i agree with you, and i don't know what happened, but i presume, i think most of this town presumes that the vice president took a very active role in overseeing the whole security side of the operation, and, of course, as you remember, there were tremendous bal thes between him and some elements of the cia that were opposed and he was trying to set up alternative
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venues for advancing various intelligence efforts. so, yeah, i don't think there's any doubt. we'll find out when he comes with his book, but of course he was deeply, deeply involved at trying to do that, and i'm glad he was obviously. i think that we were in an extraordinarily dangerous situation. in the months or year or no immediately before 9/11, we had no idea. now we have some kind of context. >> so if anybody is prosecuted, it should be him is what you're saying because he's the one leading the operation. if these guys get prosecuted for what they did, you're saying he was the leader, he should be prosecuted. that's what you're saying. >> i don't think anybody should be prosecuted. >> but if anybody is, should it be him? >> but i always believed that responsibility is at the top. >> right. >> and the people who are doing what they're told to do by their superiors with the exception of the nazi precedent of just obeying orders, but as a general proposition in a democratic sot if you're doing what the lawyers say you can do, you shouldn't be the one, but the policymakers,
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the one who is responsible for the policy. >> here is the problem for the president. he has said basically he doesn't want to prosecute any operatives, low level or midlevel guys or women who were doing what they were told to do. if you listen to the vice president they were told to do just about anything. isn't that the problem here? >> the problem with this investigation as it looks like it's being outlined now is that it's very narrowly focused and it does center on the people who were doing the interrogations. you're quite right, they were following orders. they got their marching orders from somewhere and the investigation ought to be wide-ranging and it ought to follow wherever the path leads, and if that leads to the white house, if that leads to dick cheney, if it leads to george w. bush, then they should be investigated. they should testify under oath, and if necessary they should be prosecuted and they can be fighting over the top bunk. >> isn't it interesting, ron, that the previous administration believed in trickle down benefits like tax cuts, but trickle up punishment. in other words, start from the bottom when you want to punish somebody for something, but if you want to give them anything,
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start from the top. your thoughts, tony? >> look, i think that it's a very dangerous precedent to talk about criminalizing what i think are policy issues. you may think it's not, but keep in mind at some point the other party gets back in and there will be fierce contentions. i think it's a very, very dangerous precedent. >> can i set something up for both of you? maybe you will agree. if there's any prosecutions of anybody for the way in which they got information from the suspects all of whom were bad guys i presume, really bad and dangerous guys, then it should be the punishment leveled at the top or not at all. what do you think? you're thoughts, ron? should we punish operatives if we don't punish cheney and the same question eventually to you, tony? >> everybody is culpable here. the people doing the interrogations should have known it was wrong. many of them apparently did know it was wrong. there was a lot of discussion within the cia about, geez, what's going to happen a few years from now when all of this hits the fan and comes back in our direction? but absolutely you've got to
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treat the lower level people just the same as you do the people at the top, although i would argue the people at the top deserve greater punishment since they were directing this policy. >> your thoughts, tony, on the same question? >> as i said, i don't think anyone should be prosecuted, but i think the responsibility is at the top, and i hate seeing the little guy having to walk the plank when other people don't. i don't think in this situation anybody should, but i agree on the principle that the person in charge should be responsible. >> you said it should stay at the top. what do you think of the administration policy, you were drown grading it, of taking some ever these decisions to the white house. what do you think? >> i think -- you mean the president -- the white house having sort of operational responsibility to oversee? >> right. >> i think that reminds me of iran contra. it's a terrible idea to have operational activity in the white house. >> thank you. let's keep the white house away from operations totally. >> absolutely. >> it's a bad -- we do agree on that. i think it reminds me of when
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they put bob strauss in the white house as head of inflation back when we were in the white house. you don't wakt the white house with operational responsibility over just about anything accept -- >> it's very dangerous. >> except the president's commander in chief ultimately. >> for the white house as well as others, to give them operation. that's not what they should be doing there. >> i know. they're too ethereal for that. thank you tony and ron. coming up, what's at the root of theeni anger we're seei in the far right. the temperature is rising on the right. we've got evidence of that. we've got violent activity out there. we've got people carrying guns, people talking about the president not being a legitimate president. is this wing nut militia country coming back again? and are we going to have some trouble? we'll be right back to talk about the possible trouble coming with the bad mood when "hardball" comes back on msnbc in about a minute.
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coming up, has gadhafi humiliated the united kingdom for letting that terrorist go
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over the past month actually we heard people, we've watched people armed with guns and we've seen people waving their own birth certificates and talking about their constitutional rights out there. a new report by the southern poverty law center paints a frightening picture of what's going on in the country right now. almost a decade after a largely disappearing from public review, right wing militias, tas defiers, and groups call sovereign citizens are appearing in large numbers around the country. a key difference this time is that the federal government, the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy, is now headed by a black man. mark potok is the man who wrote that. he's a civil rights expert and head of the energiintelligence t at the southern poverty law center. put it together. men carrying guns to presidential rallies, people denying the authenticity, the
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legitimacy of this president we have, people talking about their sovereign rights as citizens. the governor of texas talking secession. what's given? what's going on in our country this august 2009? >> well, i think as your suggesting, chris, really, you know, that kind of talk, what we're hearing out there, may not be specifically coming from militia men, people actually involved in these militias, but it's quite remarkable to listen to the rhetoric out there, the guns, the rhetoric, the talk of death squads and fema concentration camps and the rest of t i think what we're really seeing is how this ideology has sprung out of the patriot movement and kind inform a lot of ways aided and abetted by in certain cases mainstream tv commentators, that kind of thing, some politicians, it has really made its way into the minds of literally tens of thousands, if not, more americans. >> here is my concern. i love free speech. it's what i do. i'm lucky to take advantage of it every night here and i try to be responsible about it,
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although i'm provocative like some other people and -- we have to keep it in limits. let me ask you what i'm concerned about and you're the expert on this. i'm not going to be too verbal here or too literary because i don't want to give anybody the wrong idea. i will speak in a bit of code. back in '63 when we had a terrible situation happen in this country we never got over it, november of '63, most of us who lived through it, it was a violent act against someone and a violent act we believe was carried out by someone in a -- sort of the far left, if you will. the communist sort of oriented world. the hatred of the target of that violence was so much from the right that i worry that a mood is created, a license almost for violence. i'm afraid we're getting into it. your thoughts? >> i think it's a legitimate worry. i think the tone out there is really something remarkable. you know, i lived through as a reporter the militia movement of
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the '90s and, you know, some of the rhetoric out there was quite astounding, but, you know, i think the fact we're hearing it so much more in the mainstream from people who were, among others, a candidate for vice president of the united states, is really quite scary. nothing i'm saying is an attempt to suggest that people's speech ought to be limited. as you said, it's a great thing in this country, but, you know, when you get these people who are relatively mainstream who have television shows or who are congress people and who are saying things that are just absolutely false, made up out of whole cloth, the sad reality is that it gives a feeling of license to people out there. there are a lot of studies that show that. >> what's -- >> there are a lot of studies -- >> carrying guns, flaunting them, basically flashing them like this guy in public, this is about flaunting your right to carry a gun, in public events.
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this claim that a lot of people on the right are saying the president isn't an american really, he shouldn't be president obviously, he's not an american. that's what they're arguing. and this anger about health care. how does it all fit together with the militia movement and the things you're worried about? >> well, i mean in some cases there's a real through line we're seeing. this fellow ernest hancock, who is the radio talk show host who put up the fellow named chris in phoenix who appeared with an ar-15 strapped to his back at the town hall that president obama was giving was very much a militia man. this guy came out of not only groups that were support groups for militias but went public in a big way. you know, the same is true for the several people we have seen and heard from talking about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tie rants. you know, i think it's worth remembering, that was a central slogan of the militia movement and at the end of the day those were the very words that thomas
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jefferson paraphrased that were on the back of timothy mcveigh's shirt when blew up the murrah building in oklahoma city. >> what role do you think glenn beck plays in all this? open question. >> well, i think he plays a very nasty role. i mean glenn beck will tell you with great indignation that, you know, he didn't float the theory of fema concentration camps. he debunked it, but, of course, the reality is for three shows beck went out there and speculated about whether fema was secretly running concentration camps into which to slam good patriotic americans. you know, and then the fourth show announced to the world that he had debunked it. look, to me that is the same as positing for three television shows that the earth is flat and then announced with great aplomb at the end that, indeed, it is not flat. the reality is there are thousands and thousands of people who listen to a glenn beck and who believe that he is an authority figure and, therefore, fleas probably
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something to it. fema really is out there setting up concentration camps to do in good americans. >> we had a congressman from georgia on the other night, and i asked him would you tell -- maybe i shouldn't do this. i think would you tell your constituents not to bring guns to public meetings involving the president, and he said i'm not going to do that. i'm not going to tell my people not to bring guns. what's that about? that seems like a minimal rir789 of going into any meeting. don't go in 5r78 armed. >> it's a pandering to the far right, it's not the radical right. they're showing a gun or displaying a semi-automatic weapon to a crowd of people with whom you're arguing about health care has nothing to do with sane or ration or democratic discussion of health care or any other issue. that's the bottom line. somehow this is being portrayed of people 1257standing up for t
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second amend and the first amendment and to me that's absurd. what we're really discussing or trying to discuss are real issues that face the country. you know, bailouts of various industries, the health care industry and so on. you know, and this not only doesn't advance us as a country or as a group of people having a debate, it puts us back. >> what scares me is the politics is always behind assassinations to be blunt about it. there's people like hinckley that are nuts, but generally it's people like lee harvey oswaldin oswald, who had a fantasy, disluthsed with the soviet union, but he fell in love with castro. sirhan sirhan who didn't like bobby kennedy's middle east policy. it's not entirely insane this behavior. it is horrible, it's tragic, you could certainly say it's evil, but it does have a basis in politics, and i wonder whether people like the birther movement aren't giving people a license to use your term to do something awful. look at the guy who shot the
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guard at the holocaust museum and killed him. he was a birther. he is a birther. he's standing trial. that's his motive. >> yeah. that's absolutely true. i mean, yes, the answer is, yes, i think there is a kind of license giving in all of this. you know, what are you really saying? it steams to me a lot of people are raising the so-called issue of obama's country of birth really are talking about race. i mean, now, i'm not suggesting that every person who questions his birth certificate is the klansman in disguise, but i think it's hard to get past the idea at the end of the day a great many of these people are looking at a president who is black man and they are feeling that this country somehow has been stolen from them. that his appearance in office shows that the country has been lost in some sense and there's a huge amount of anger about that, about other very major changes
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hatchi happening in this country. i think all of that anger and frustrati frustration, especially when it's channelled in this way by politicians -- >> i fear like you do. >> -- is dangerous. >> i fear the man with the gun in one hand and the "or bible in the other. i do, i do. thank you very much for this report. up next, what peeves the president. we'll have a little fun now. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. (announcer) we will not be quiet
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i love that sink pated music there. back to "hardball." sim for the "sideshow." first up, pete peeves. the weird little things you don't like but nobody quite gets why you don't like them so much. here are president obama's pet peeves. he hates missing his dale biworkout. okay, mr. perfect. two, he doesn't like wearing
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baseball caps except that of the chicago white sox. okay. he doesn't like getting makeup before doing a tv show. okay. so don't get makeup. four fourth, i doesn't like anything that gets in the way of being a father to his two daughters. he got ticked off when his schedule kept him from attending one of his daughter's concerts. and you doesn't like drama. one new pet peeve, he doesn't like it when aides share his list of pete peeves with reporter. next a presidential re-read. yesterday we got a look at president obama's vacation reading list which included the global warming book hot, flat, and crowded by "new york times" columnist tom freedman. the thing is a sharp-eyed daily beast writer notes a book, well, then candidate obama quoted in the trail last year was that book. he claims to be reading now. hell, i re-read books like the great gatsby every couple years and i just re-read "vids and
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consent." i re-read books all the time. it's easier to re-read a book than read it the first time. it's especially easy to re-read a book after you see the movie. finally, stop in the name of love. one topic on the agenda when republican state lawmakers meet this weekend in myrtle beach, south carolina s whether to impeach their party's governor, mark sanford. sanford initially as we all know got into trouble after disappearing to visit his mistress after claiming to be hiking in the adirondack or wherever. he's been found in argentina, of course, with his lover. he faced questions about his use of state resources for personal travel. some senate republicans have already called for him to resign. thiel decide this weekend in myrtle beach. there's a fitting place to decide it, whether it dump him or not. ip time for tonight's big number. if you want to understand president obama's reappointment of federal reserve chairman ben bernanke today, just take a look at where the stock market stands right now, how much higher is
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the dow jones industrial average from where it was on inaugural day for this president? 1500 points higher. how is that for performance e valuation? since president obama and fed chairman bernanke have been in office the dow jones has shot up 20%. why aren't the republicans happy about this? aren't they in the stock market mostly? what do they want from this guy? up next, doesn't get any respect. up next, was the uk right to release a terrorist so he could go home and kiss the ring of moammar gadhafi. what lousy pr. they get the guy out and then make fun of the brits for letting him out by treating him like a hero. this guy a killer. he killed the people in that airplane, blew it up, got convicted of it, and they let him off out of sympathy and now he's some kind of hometown hero. look at these bums. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. if you've had a heart attack
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i'm julia boorstin with your cnbc market wrap. the dow rose for a sixth straight session thanks to an encouraging report on home prices and the unexpected jump in consumer confidence. the dow is up 30 points. the s&p 500 added about 2.5 points. the nasdaq is up 6.25 points. improving outlook on the u.s. job market in the overall economy led to a surprise rebound in consumer confidence this month. the consumers are still worried about their own personal incomes which could be a drag on future spending. more signs of recovery in the housing sector. prices of single family homes rose for the second consecutive month in june beating expectations. president obama officially nominated ben bernanke to a second term as fed chairman today, but even pro-bernanke lawmakers are promising a thorough confirmation process.
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that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." well, the outrage continues to grow for scot laend's release of the man involved in the 19 8 lockerbie airline bombing that killed 189 of us, americans. british prime minister gordon brown broke his silence to say he's angry and repulsed at the way libya gave this guy a welcome home. with us now the telegraphs a con coughlin in london. i am stunned by this. do we have a deal in the west with libya? are they supposed to be out of the terrorism business and yet there they are treating this guy like he was lindberg coming home from crossing the atlantic and he was a god damn -- i'm sorry i can't use that phrase. an evil person. he was involved in killing people who were innocent. >> well, chris, this whole episode really stinks.
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as you said, megrahi is the only man who has been convicted for the bombing of pan am 103 in 1988. he was sentenced to life imprison am and now the scottish authorities where he was jailed when he was originally convicted have now decided he should go home on compassionate grounds. you would say, well, where was the compassion when he put the bomb on pan am flight 103? but it's caused an enormous political row here. also caused an' nor muss political row in the united states. britain and america are supposed to be close allies, they are supposed to be joined at the hip fighting the global war on terror and here is a key ally releasing one of the world's most wanted terrorists to go back to befeted. >> it makes us look stupid. we allowed the gadhafi government to get back on the international oil business. it seems like it's a pretty cold peace out there.
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>> yeah, well, of course, the thing that's really concentrating a lot of minds, chris, is the 44 billion barrels of oil that libya is sitting on and the world's oil companies are basically desperate to get in there. >> yeah. >> in all the speculation here in london is that the real reason the british government has sanctioned the return of megrahi is because bp, the british oil giants, want to get into libya in a big way and get developing those untapped oil reserves. >> who made the call? i hear a lot about scottish devolution, they're going to have more independence. was it anjou dishl decision, an executive decision, a british decision, or a scottish decision? >> well, that's a very good question, chris. >> that's why i put it to you, con. you ought to know the answer. what is the answer? who is responsible for this embarrassment to us all? >> i've been doing my research, and scottish devolution happened under tony blair ten years ago,
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so scotland has its own government, its own parliament, and it's own law system. according to scottish law, which is different to english law, if a convict, a prisoner, is terminally ill, he can go back to his home to die. this is a scottish law, and the scottish government says that according to scottish law they had no alternative other than to release megrahi on compassionate grounds, but this is where it gets murky because a letter has turned up from the british government, the british foreign office to the scottish government advising the scots to let megrahi go. so clearly the british government, despite what gordon brown said today about having had no role to play in this, the british government basically encouraged the scots to let megrahi go. why? because the british trade minister in the summer met with the heir apparent to colonel
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gadhafi, he's the power behind the throne. he told the british trade secretary there would be no oil deals with libya so long asthma gra hi was in jail, and, hey, press toe, megrahi goes back to libya. the brits will be into libyan oil in a big way in the coming months. >> this guy lord mandelson, i knew him as peter mandelson, a regular staff guy like me when i hosted him over here. he has more lives than lazarus. how does he stay -- he's now involved with this trade deal that allowed you guys and britain, somebody, to get a trade deal going with the idea of letting a terrible person like this go home on compassionate leave and he's still there. >> well peter mandelson's political career has been killed off several times. he was sacked because gordon brown pushed for him to be sacked twice when he worked for tony blair. suddenly he's back because he's a very skillful political
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operator. in fact, gordon brown is facing a very difficult stretch here in london as prime minister, wouldn't be in office were it not for peter mandelson who somehow persuaded the labor party to keep him in office. mandelson, whenever there's something bad going on in british politics, he's not far away. >> thank you, sir. didn't you do the profile on michael collins years ago? i think you did. >> i did. >> do you look like boris johnson? i think i do. >> a little bit. he's got the haircut, chris. >> thank you very much. con coughlin of "the guardian." this thursday is the premiere of our big documentary on the kennedy brothers all four of them and if features something you have never seen before, audio tapes, actual audio tapes of president john f. kennedy the year before he was killed dictating his memoirs. wait unwilling you hear this. and here now is a look at how kennedy won that '60 presidential election. ♪ everyone is voting for jack
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because he's got what all the lest lack ♪ >> with the theme song by frank sinatra, the kennedy campaign was far more glamorous than nixons. it also put lou harris' scientific polls to work in a way that had never been done before. team kennedy focused like a laser in winning big states and their electoral votes while nixon campaigned in all 50 states. >> we surveyed 38 states for kennedy and wrote off about half the states. he had the guts to write off whole states and say, okay, i'm going to lose them. >> in the end just 100,000 votes separated kennedy and mixon out of some 70 million cast. one-tenth of 1%. >> at 7:19 a.m. eastern time, senator kennedy was elected president of the united states. >> but true to their big state strategy, kennedy had an overwhelming majority in the electoral college yoo. kennedy
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has won 296. that alone is enough. >> in those big states, many of the voters were catholic. kennedy had turned a historic negative into an electoral positive. >> kennedy played the catholic issue extremely well making sure that he got all the catholic votes and had a minimum reverse effect among noncatholic voters. >> the kennedy brothers airs this thursday and friday, but debuts on thursday at 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. up next, the stock market is up, the housing market is bouncing back, and there are sign this is recession is ending. so why isn't president obama getting any respect? "the politics fix" is coming up next. this is "hardball" only on msnbc.
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coming up, will rudolph giuliani be the next governor of
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we're back with "the politics fix." joining me is politico's jonathan martin and "the washington post's" anne kornb t kornblut. ann e, you're first. what do you make of this whole thing about the good economic news out there that the president gets no credit for? i'm in the stock market. i have suffered like others before and i have seen this comeback back up to almost 10,000 now. he gets nothing for this. the fact that consumer confidence, which was once closer to the bone, is way up. the fact that the fed chair has done jump a good job in pumping up the money supply and averting
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a great depression, no credit. >> well, i don't know if he gets no credit, but i do think people are kind of a lagging indicator, people's feelings about their job security, about their property folios. i mean, it takes a while for people to really feel like that's secure, and additionally you're sort of proving a negative here. they're saying what we did is -- it could have been a lot worse. we don't know how bad it would have been had we not done all this. there's no way for them to demonstrate that. there's no way for people to feel it. people only feel the pain they really feel. >> anybody who studies economics, jonathan, knows we are still suffering from a huge drop in consumer spending, a huge drop in investment by business that had to be offset by an increase in government spending, and it was, and however sloppy it was, it seems to have done the trick of keeping us out of a great depression. >> chris, to anne's point, nobody in the history of politics as ever won a campaign based on a slogan of it could haven a lot worse. the fact is, look, i think the
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president reappointing bernanke today to me says that he sees light at the end of this tunnel. if he was still concerned, if president obama was still concerned about the state of this economy, he would not have ratified one of the sort of chief faces of the current administration, of the current economic status quo. i think the president by doing this today, it's a signal he does see some signs of hope here, some glimmers out there. >> you know, anne, it's amazing, you have been away, but the failure of the democratic party to unite in voice is so powerful. they argue over whether he's doing enough or not enough on this and that. there's no sort of chorus out there for this guy in terms of the horrible challenge he faced coming in january 20th, what he's done with it. no credit for the stimulus package, passing it. despite the fact that the evidence is it's working to offset, again, a great depression. >> that's the beauty of being in the majority, right? now democrats are now free to disagree because they've gotten
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back to the place they wanted to be. i think, look, he does have his supporters and democrats -- it could get a lot worse with the democratic criticism, but i think you're right. there are -- there's a wide range of democratic feeling. we've got, you know, the range of liberals to moderates in the house in particular, so, look -- and this is what democrats do, right? >> i know, i know. they love to argue. i want to stay with you, anne. i missed you so long, you've been away. what is your book about that you're working on? what is this book you've been working? >> plug! >> this is shameless. it's about women in politics. it's called "notes from the cracked ceiling." it's about the get campaign, the palin campaign and all the other women who are in office. >> i want to read it. let me ask you about this rudy giuliani. he's running for governor of new york it in the future. >> rudy giuliani, running for governor of new york it looks like. >>ith pretty amazing. what's really something is that he can't run on 9/11. that was sort of his gambit when he was going to run in gambit
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and certainly his gambit when he was still in office. that's a long time ago. he has to decide what kind of republican he's going to be and develop a new platform. >> he has jumped the shark as they said on "happy days?" has he jumped the shark like the fonz did. >> only time will tell. >> come on, give me an answer. i'm sorry. >> chris, chris. >> if david pat terson is governor, then rudy giuliani or anybody that is mildly competent will have a shot. i'm not totally convince that giuliani is going to run for governor if david patterson does not run for re-election, that changes the calculation and it makes this race a heck of a lot tougher for rudy. if it's a patterson/giuliani
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race, i can see it. if it's a patterson/giuliani/cuomo race, it's much different story. >> crazy talk coming up. hold on. the hottest thing on the show coming in right now. u.s. a world war ii vet that tells the republican senator that president obama is acting like hitler. we're right back with jonathan and ann for more of "the fix." i, but i've still got room for the internet. with my new netbook from at&t. with its built-in 3g network, it's fast and small, so it goes places other laptops can't. i'm bill kurtis, and wherever i go, i've got plenty of room for the internet. and the nation's fastest 3g network. gun it, mick. (announcer) sign up today and get a netbook for $199.99 after mail-in rebate. with built-in access to the nation's fastest 3g network. only from at&t.
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i told you it's coming, here it is. a close with a world war ii veteran with charles grassley in a public meeting today in the united states. "the president of the united states, that's who you should be concerned about. because he's acting like a little hitler. i'd take a gun to washington if enough of you would go with me." that's now reached the level, we've talked about the gun carrying of people to these public meetings. put it all together. it's getting weird and someone has put it together verbally. the question is when will they put it actually. chuck grassley apparently stood through that, did not demure. >> this is the second time he basically has enabled this kind of rhetoric out there, previously he had talked about
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an old death panel and added fuel to the fire by talking about not wanting to pull the plug on grandma. this is the kind of stuff you hear increasingly at these town hall meetings in sort of red america. people are really upset. the rhetoric is increasingly out of control and this is only representative of what's happening in a lot of places around the country. >> yeah, but there's a big difference -- we have to draw the distinctions between talking about death panels, standing by by people misrepresent death panels and talking about bringing a gun to washington. that's the kind of talk that i would hope has the sedge rhett service on high alert. and it's pretty shocking -- forget partisan stripes. i don't think that is the type of talk that anybody finds acceptable and comparing him to hitler is certainly not good. but talking about bringing a gun is certainly pretty shocking. >> getting close to law breaking. i was struck by the guy who shot
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the armed guard, that guy was a birther. these things are overlapped. these people are sovereign power people, not every second amendment person, obvious. my brother is a second amendment person. a lot of people believe in the right. to bring guns to a public statement makes a statement on how the government is the enemy, not potentially, but is the enemy. your thoughts, ann. >> and especially after we had an actual election this is not -- it's sort of unimaginable at this point that he is seen in a short span of time from -- however many months he's been in office that he's gone from being the president who is elected with a higher percentage than previous presidents has been is now being compared to a nazi -- compared to a fascist at some of these town halls, it's kind of a stunning development over such a short span of time. >> let me ask up jonathan. you studies

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